Skip to main content


Main Content
Wednesday, September 1, 2004

National Commission Chair participates in opening ceremonies of Library of Congress exhibit honoring 350th anniversary of Jewish life in America

Dr. Gary P. Zola, Executive Director of HUC-JIR's Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, was invited to join the Librarian of Congress and the Archivist of the United States in offering introductory remarks on the eve of the opening of "From Haven to Home: A Library of Congress Exhibition Marking 350 Years of Jewish Life in America-1654-2004" at the Library's Thomas Jefferson Building. The exhibi t- which will run through mid-December in Washington - is co-presented by the Commission for Commemorating the 350th Anniversary of American Jewish History. The national Commission, chaired by Dr. Zola, is an unprecedented collaboration of the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, the American Jewish Historical Society (New York) and The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (Cincinnati). Following its Washington D.C. presentation, the exhibit will open in Cincinnati at Cincinnati Museum Center on February 13 and run through May 1. "From Haven to Home" will also be presented in New York and Los Angeles in the summer of 2005.

HUC-JIR's Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives is the world's largest archival resource documenting the history of North American Jewry. Dr. Zola also serves as an Associate Professor of the American Jewish Experience at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati.

September, 2004 marks the beginning of the 350th anniversary of Jewish communal life in North America. A concurrent resolution of Congress (passed in October, 2003) designates September as National American Jewish History Month in celebration of the 350th anniversary of the arrival of the first Jewish settlers in the New World. "This anniversary provides our country with a unique opportunity to celebrate and contemplate how the American way of life has encouraged the participation of a small minority-American Jewry," said Dr. Zola. "In return, America's Jewish community has made remarkable contributions to the whole of American culture."

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, museums, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.